cummings’ “Nobody wears a yellow…”

I’ll have to admit that at times I find myself tiring of some of cummings’ oft-repeated themes, whether spring or “love,” so I’m delighted when i find an odd little one like this that I really like:


Nobody wears a yellow
flower in his buttonhole
he is altogether a queer fellow
as young as he is old

when autumn comes,
who twiddles his white thumbs
and frisks down the boulevards
without his coat and hat

-(and i wonder just why that
should please him or i wonder what he does)

and why(at the bottom of this trunk,
under some dirty collars) only a
was it perhaps a year) ago i found staring
me in the face a dead yellow small rose

Perhaps my recent rummaging through old papers and old photo albums piqued my interest in this poem, but I suspect that once you reach a certain age and look back that you begin to wonder why the heck you did some of the things you once did — not that I didn’t start wondering the same thing long before now.

When I go back and look at some of my old pictures I can’t imagine what the heck I was thinking of when it was taken. Perhaps we’d all learn something important about ourselves if we re-examined the different “roles” we’ve assumed in our lifetime and tried to figure out why we did so.

I’m pretty sure I never wore a yellow flower in my buttonhole, considering my allergies, but I wouldn’t be a man if I hadn’t managed to make a fool out of myself trying to impress members of the fairer sex.